Stony Brook University
Stony Brook University - Comments and Student Experiences|
First of all, for every good review you will read about Stony Brook, there are 10 bad reviews waiting to follow. They are all justified. Yes, Stony Brook has definite benefits. It is a very well known school with academic prestige. Most people I have spoken to have heard of it, and I was even employed by a man who said "well you go to Stony Brook so you must be smart!" Despite this, Stony Brook is known for its research and its ability to churn out tons of Engineers and Pre-Med students. If none of those apply to you, then things are a little different.
At my welcoming weekend at Stony, the President said "Stony Brook is big and daunting, and will remain that way for the entire time you are here." Yes, this is true. You will feel like just a number in the system. As far as extra-curriculars are concerned, they do exist, and if you can find them it will be beneficial if that's what you are into. I've been encouraged to join extra-curriculars but in addition to working about 25 hours a week at a job, doing my schoolwork, being an introvert, and a 45-60 minute commute and 1/4 tank of gas for each trip made getting involved seriously less than appealing.
As far as parties, this is not the school to go to if that is what you are into. Nothing is within walking distance and taxis are expensive, and driving and drinking is not an option. I'm not too educated on the party front, but I have heard that it's far and few between and not very accessible. Everyone laments the quality of the dorms and come on let's be realistic, with 25,000 students, how are the dorms really going to remain clean and taken care of?
I have eaten in the SAC maybe once or twice and avoided it at all costs since due to the serious warnings every student who eats there has given. The food is mass produced shit and there are little to zero options for vegetarians and health conscious students. I've heard it results in food poisoning very often. I wouldn't advise eating on campus.
Parking is a whole story of its own. Commuters mainly park in South P, an ocean of parking spaces that fills to the brim by the middle of the day. You have to leave at least 30 minutes earlier than your actual commute if you are to arrive during the rush times, because then you will have to wait about 3 or 4 buses to get a seat to get from South P to campus. The buses are reliable though, I never had a problem missing class because one broke down.
The faculty are either extremely qualified or graduate students with little experience. Most of the faculty are arrogant academics though. Some are the best in their field which results in quality education, yet not very approachable. Obviously this does not apply to every single professor at the school, but many are less than accommodating, and that may be in part due to the size of the school. With 25,000 students, Professors are not about to hear your story or care as to why you can't make it for a test or a class or care about your individual questions or ambitions towards your grades. I had a Professor tell me once that she never gives make-up exams, which is fairly reasonable, yet she finished that statement by saying she wouldn't even offer a student a make-up exam when her Mother died. The utter lack of compassion was astounding.
As far as students go, the amount of Asian students is incredible. Most Asian students are international transfers that are so burdened with trying to achieve top notch grades that they are depressed or crazed. They float around campus without actually being there. Other students are arrogant Pre-Meds or Biology majors that constantly talk about how hard their work is and how much they hate it. It is possible to bond with people over a mutual hatred for the place. Most commuters with morning classes are in the same boat- left their houses 2 or 3 hours before class starts, sat in traffic and got burned out by the time class began. If you can find your people, then obviously the school becomes better. If you find best friends or people to click with, any situation you are put in is obviously going to be better with them there. But this doesn't change the fact that Stony Brook is kind of an awful place. They offer a lot of cool majors but you'll feel like the only one in your major unless you're in the sciences. The god damn place is dismal, and I just go to class and get the hell out as much as I can. The morale is absolute shit and it is all justified.
In science, and especially math, courses, there's a very good chance your professor's English will be dreadful at best.
However, these programs are both difficult and good if you can handle the difficulty and get good enough grades for your next school if you're going to continue on.
The absolute horrendous part of this school is living here. I've tried finding ways I can make a 2.5 hour commute because it's so horrible. It's essentially a commuter school, and those who live on campus often leave for the weekends. The residence halls range from fine to disgusting and leave a lot to be desired. Housing is also competitive, so if you're stuck somewhere bad, there's a chance you'll be there the entire time you're on campus. Off-campus housing is also very difficult to find, so good luck trying to leave. Most people who live on campus are forced into a meal plan, and there is a food complaints page on facebook because of how horrible the quality of the food is and because of the frequency of food poisoning. Small portion sizes and moldy food are quite common offenders.
If you like partying, it's not so easy here. You have to get a ride to an unknown place from the frat guys and then take a taxi back. It's an expensive night, and you wait a long time for a ride both ways.
Overall, the academics are good. If you can come without having to live on campus, it's worth it. Living on campus is so horrible it makes me wish I never came at all. I love the opportunities I've gotten in my department, but nothing is worth living like this every day.